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How Does Unemployment Work In Texas

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After Im Approved For Unemployment Benefits Do I Need To Do Anything Else

Unemployment Benefits: How to Apply in Texas (2021 Edition)

Yes. You have to request a payment after you are approved and keep requesting payments every two weeks. You can request payment either by direct deposit to a checking or savings account or through a debit card the Texas Workforce Commission will send you. To request payment, you can:

  • Log on to Unemployment Benefits Services and select Request a Payment, OR

Looking For Work As An Independent Contractor

With digital marketing and social media having such a big impact on todays job market, how we define looking for work has drastically changed.

In the same interview with Forbes, Bruce Brumberg, JD asked whether social media promotions, such as Instagram posts of new graphic designs or samples of photography counted as proof of looking for work.

Amanda Thibodeau responded with: These may qualify. Each states program lays out what types of work search activities must be reported each week, such as responding to job postings or sending out résumés. Given the unique situations gig workers and freelancers are involved in, it is likely the states will continue to be flexible on their work search requirements.

What Are The Requirements To Qualify For Unemployment Benefits

To meet Texas unemployment benefits eligibility, you must meet three requirements:

  • You must be unemployed through no fault of your own, and within the guidelines as defined by Texas law. Those guidelines include situations such as losing your job in a reduction-in-force action, or you are let go due to a downturn in the economy or at a particular employer.
  • Your past earnings must meet minimum amounts within your given base period. Texas is much like most other states that require that you earn a specified minimum amount during your base period for unemployment to make sure you are eligible for unemployment benefits. You must be able to show that you earned wages in at least two of the four calendar quarters that make up your base period. In addition, your earnings for the entire unemployment base period must be at least 37 times your weekly benefit amount.
  • Recommended Reading: How To Sign Up For Unemployment In Missouri

    How Much Unemployment Benefit Do I Qualify For

    Texas unemployment benefits are determined by the amount of wages you earn during your base period. Base periods are the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters immediately before the beginning of your benefit year. If you successfully meet Texas unemployment requirements, your benefit payments will be based on these base periods.

    In some instances, you will not have enough wages to qualify for unemployment benefits. This may be because you were sick, pregnant, were a full-time caregiver for an ill relative, or you were injured, among other reasons. When this happens, you may be able to use an alternate base period that uses your earnings history before you were unable to work.

    Combining unemployment benefits with social security benefits is also a common issue that depends on your age, work history, and disability status.

    I Have Been Quarantined For 14 Days Because Of Close Contact Exposure To Someone With Covid

    Texas Unemployment Work Search Log

    You can refuse to return to work during your 14-day quarantine. But after those two weeks are up, you may not qualify for unemployment benefits unless you fall within one of the TWCs approved reasons for refusing work. You can find a list of those reasons here:

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    Am I Eligible For Unemployment Benefits If I Am A Contractor A Self

    The state of Texas is ending its participation in federal pandemic unemployment benefit programs early and the final week that the TWC will pay federal pandemic unemployment benefits is the week of June 26th, 2021. This includes the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program for those who traditionally do not qualify for regular state benefits, such as self-employed and independent contractors. If you are currently receiving PUA, PEUC, and FPUC federal benefits, you may continue to request payment for all weeks for which you are eligible ending on June 26, 2021. You can still receive regular unemployment, however, the additional $300 a week benefit will end June 26, 2021. TWC will continue to pay you regular benefits after that date as long as you remain eligible.

    I Returned To Work After Filing For Benefits But Im Out Of Work Again What Do I Do

    According to the workforce commission, if three weeks or less have passed since you last requested payment, you should go ahead and request payment again as normal. You should report any hours you worked or income you received during the time period for which you request unemployment benefits.

    If it has been more than three weeks since you last requested payment, you should reapply for benefits. To help the TWC activate your claim quickly, the agency says, select layoff as the reason you lost your job. Choose layoff even if you were furloughed or the business where you were most recently working closed.

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    Everything Employers Need To Know About Paying Unemployment Insurance Taxes In Texas

    By David M. Steingold, Contributing Author

    If your small business has employees working in Texas, you’ll need to pay Texas unemployment insurance tax. The UI tax funds unemployment compensation programs for eligible employees. In Texas, state UI tax is one of the primary taxes that employers must pay. Unlike most other states, Texas does not have state withholding taxes. However, other important employer taxes, not covered here, include federal UI and withholding taxes.

    Different states have different rules and rates for UI taxes. Here are the basic rules for Texas’s UI tax.

    Note: Texas often refers simply to “unemployment tax” rather than unemployment insurance tax.

    Independent Contractors And Work Benefits

    2. Texas Unemployment Benefits – Work Search Log

    When calculating how much unemployment benefit youre entitled to, the government takes into consideration the benefits you usually receive as a regular employee, such as vacation pay, sick pay, etc. When youre working part-time as a regular employee, the monetary value of these benefits will be added onto the paycheck you receive and counted against your benefits.

    However, independent contractors arent entitled to employee benefits such as vacation and sick pay. This means theyre not counted against your benefits. So if you earn an additional $300 per week, a straight $300 will be counted against your benefits.

    Whereas a regular employee could earn $300 + $25 in sick pay + $25 in vacation pay and have $350 counted against their benefits. This is just another advantage of working as an independent contractor.

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    How Do I Know What Kind Of Unemployment Aid Im Receiving

    You can log on to your online account with the TWC and visit your claim and payment status page. Here, under the claim information section, you will see your claim type listed as: Regular Unemployment Benefits, Disaster Unemployment Benefits , or Temporary Unemployment Benefits .

    If you are on an ,it can be difficult to know which program you are enrolled in. Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation and Extended Benefits are two active extension programs that are both referred to as Temporary Unemployment Benefits on your claim and payment status page.

    To find out which extension you are on, look through the documentation in your correspondence inbox online or mailed to you by TWC. You should have paperwork that states which extension program you are on.

    Another way to tell: Log on to your payment status page and click select another claim to view directly above the Claim Information header. If you see two claims listed as Temporary Unemployment Benefits, you are likely on EB. Thats because most people must exhaust PEUC before they are put onto an EB claim. You can read more about the differences between the two extensions here.

    File Scheduled Tax Reports And Payments

    In Texas, UI tax reports and payments are due a month after the close of each calendar quarter. In other words, UI tax reports are due by the following dates:

    For Wages Paid During

    If the due date for a report or tax payment falls on Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday on which TWC offices are closed, reports and payments are considered timely if they are received on or before the following business day.

    Unless you have received a hardship waiver from the TWC, you must file your reports and make payments online. A hardship waiver is granted to employers who either:

    • do not have a computer, or
    • do not have access to the Internet.

    For additional information about waivers or filing your report or paying your taxes electronically, contact your nearest tax office.

    The TWC offers two options for online filing:

    Unemployment Tax Services is an online reporting and payment system. QuickFile is a wage reporting program that you can install and use on your own computer. Software is also available through Intuit, a private company, that allows you to upload wage reports based on information in a payroll record.

    Larger employers are required to pay by Electronic Funds Transfer . Other employers generally can pay by any of three methods:

    • Automated Clearing House debit from a bank account
    • Electronic Funds Transfer , or

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    State Of Texas Payroll Laws & Regulations

    Payroll tax laws in Texas are unique in that they only require one tax from employers at the state level: unemployment insurance . Employers, including small business owners, dont need to report state income tax on behalf of their employees and dont need to worry about reporting employee income taxes at the local level, either.

    In short, the Lone Star State has some of the leanest payroll tax regulations in the country. These regulations reduce taxable income that employees need to pay and can make Texas an attractive state in which to work. While this impression largely holds true, payroll management in Texas also includes taxes at the federal level that apply to all individuals who run a business in the state.

    Dont get lost in the world of Texas payroll and the long-winded calculations you still need to tackle. Refer to the following glossary of quick tax terms to guide yourself toward a flawless report of payroll withholdings and payments:

    Find Help If You Lost Your Job Because Of Foreign Trade

    Texas Unemployment Tax Return Online

    If you lost your job because of increased foreign imports or shifts in production to foreign countries, you may be eligible for Trade Adjustment Assistance , a federal program that helps workers find suitable new work. TAA benefits may include retraining, the Health Coverage Tax Credit, job search and relocation allowances, and weekly benefits called Trade Readjustment Allowance .

    • Trade Adjustment Assistance Handbook 2016

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    How To File An Unemployment Claim In Texas

    You may file your claim online, at, or by phone. You can find a list of local offices and telephone numbers at Once it reviews your application, the Texas Workforce Commission will send you a Determination Notice, indicating whether your claim has been granted or denied. If your claim is granted, you will have to request payment every two weeks, either online or by phone, and meet ongoing eligibility requirements .

    Are There Special Rules For Unemployment During The Covid

    There are millions of employees who have had their hours cut drastically, been forced out of their jobs temporarily , or even laid off while the country is fighting COVID-19. Individual states are being offered assistance from the federal government in order to expand unemployment benefits. However, state UI responses to the crisis may vary.

    The main changes in unemployment benefits at the federal level, as part of the CARES Act, include:

    • An extra $600 in weekly benefits, in addition to regular state benefit amounts
    • Additional 13 weeks of UI coverage once state UI benefits are exhausted
    • Expanded eligibility, which includes independent contractors, gig economy workers, and other self-employed workers, for up to 39 weeks of benefits

    A local employment lawyer can help you understand the temporary measures enacted in your state.

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    Am I Eligible For Unemployment Benefits If I Lose My Job Or My Work Hours Are Cut Due To Covid

    Yes, you should be eligible for unemployment benefits if you lose your job or your hours are reduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The Texas Workforce Commission has provided more information about qualifying job separation scenarios here. Review these scenarios to determine how COVID-19 may affect eligibility.

    What Youll Need To Apply

    Unemployment Benefits in Texas: Do You Qualify?

    To apply for Texas unemployment benefits, you will need the following information:

    • Your last employers name and address
    • The first and last dates you worked for your employer
    • The number of hours and pay rate for the work you performed in the current week
    • Information related to your normal wage
    • Your Social Security number
    • If you are not a US citizen or US national, you will need an Alien Registration Number.
    • Any military employment information, if applicable.

    Make sure your information is accurate. Supplying wrong or misleading information can create a delay in receiving benefits, and in some cases, you may be subject to prosecution if you knowingly falsify information. Penalties can include fines, jail time, and the implementation of penalty weeks that will make you ineligible for benefits during that time.

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    How Long Can I Receive Benefits

    Workers who qualify for benefits under Texas law can receive an initial 26 weeks of benefits. If they exhaust this, there are up to 26 extra weeks available. An additional 7 weeks of benefits may be available if the unemployment rate remains high. These will be available in October at the earliest.

    On December 27, 2020, a new pandemic relief bill was signed into law. Under this legislation, unemployment benefits may be extended by up to 11 extra weeks.

    Please note that these changes will still have to be put in place by the Texas Workforce Commission. The TWC has stated that it will try to do this as quickly as possible.

    Please check here for the latest updates from the TWC regarding this:

    How Do I Apply For Unemployment Benefits In Texas

    You can apply online for Texas unemployment benefits through Unemployment Benefit Services. The Texas Workforce Commission has a PDF tutorial that walks you through each step. It also contains the link you need to access to apply online as well as step-by-step instructions to complete your application.

    As part of your application process, you will need to complete a work search registration. To do so, go to and complete that application process. You can also register for work in person at a Workforce Solutions office.

    If you want to apply over the phone, you can call an unemployment benefits telecenter, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The phone number is 800-939-6631.

    Newly unemployed?

    Several online serviceslike FlexJobs, 360training, or MyPerfectResumecan help you find work-from-home jobs, build a better resume, or earn training certifications.

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    Benefit Options For Wages In More Than One State

    If you worked in more than one state during your base period as defined in Eligibility & Benefit Amounts:

    • You can apply for benefits in any state where you have base period wages. The state you choose will become your paying state. See Potential Benefit Amounts and Contact Information by State below.
    • You may either:
    • Ask the paying state to combine all of your wages in a single unemployment benefits claim. If you combine wages, you can only receive benefits from one state. If you earned enough wages in your paying state to qualify for the maximum benefit amount, then the paying state will not combine wages from other states on your claim.
    • Use only the wages earned in the paying state. Then based upon the law and base period provisions of the other states where you have wages, you may be able to use those other state wages to apply for benefits in the future.

    The paying state will process your unemployment benefits application according to the rules of that state. The paying state asks the other state to transfer your wage records. The paying state can then determine if you earned enough wages after combining wages from other states to qualify for benefits under that states laws.

    Unemployment Benefits: How Does Unemployment Work

    What Is The Max Amount Of Unemployment In Texas

    The sudden loss of income caused by a layoff or furlough can create uncertainty for an entire household and make it challenging to pay for everyday necessities. As more employees continue to be impacted by permanent and temporary workforce reductions, access to unemployment insurance benefits may help reduce the risk of financial ruin and can, at the very least, provide a cushion of interim income to rely on.

    The following answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about unemployment benefits, and recent changes in light of the coronavirus crisis, will help you prepare your claim and know what to expect.

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    How Many Activities Do I Need To Complete

    TWC provided all claimants with a work search letter that lists the specific number they are required to meet. Depending on your preference you received this either through the mail at your mailing address or via electronic correspondence on your online unemployment benefits account. If you cannot locate your work search letter, no worries, use this link to locate the number of work search activities required in your workforce area.

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